Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tom reports on yesterday's birds

Black-and-White Warbler - 4/24/07

Saturday 14 April, 2012 -
Central Park: Manhattan, N.Y. City

The day began (at first light) with a very strong flow of 'new' migrants, including some apparent onward morning flight of various passerines as seen from the northern end of Central Park, and still at least somewhat evident a 1/2-hour after sunrise. Many more Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warblers were moving than in any previous day this spring, and accompanying them were a more modest number of additional warbler species with Palm Warbler an easy second in their overall numbers. A very good sparrow flight also took place with Chipping Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow predominant, also including a strong contingent of Dark-eyed Junco. Continuing in good numbers were Ruby-crowned Kinglets, aided by fresh reinforcements.

. . .a number of birders were able to see a Yellow-throated Warbler in Central Park's Ramble area, at the NW portion of that area, known as the "Upper Lobe" of the lake, not far in from the W. 77 Street park entrance - A good many other warbler species were also seen in the Ramble or nearby, and for Central Park there appear to have been at least ten warbler species noted with an even more unexpected species, Worm-eating Warbler in the Ramble's Azalea Pond area, just a bit earlier than expected in this month, along with that Yellow-throated... Incidentally, the one (of the latter) that was around the "upper lobe" was also in the company of a Wilson's Snipe in the cove below, that being at least the 4th individual snipe in the borough this year - and in the 4th location.

The other warbler spp. of which I am aware from today in Manhattan are: N. Parula (several), Black-and-white (several) Pine, Palm, Yellow-rumped [Myrtle], Louisiana Waterthrush , and ( 2 reasonable reports of ) Northern Waterthrush, and Black-throated Green Warbler (each from Central Park in the morning & afternoon).

I could mention that a few other warbler & additional migrant birds were also reported, but are very early and might be sought in the next few days for additional confirmations. Of today's sightings, Worm-eating Warbler is perhaps ten days ahead of a more expected "early" date in our area and is among the longer-distance migrants to have come in. Many of the species seen today are of the shorter-distance migrants, that is from only the southern U.S. wintering populations, although some are also migrants from a bit farther south. I suspect there were a couple, or at least one, additional warbler species seen in Manhattan today, with at least a few somewhat likely in the midst of a good general push of migrants in mid-April as was today's. There are some reports for Yellow Warbler in NYC this day, which I did not hear of nor see myself, but is rather likely. Other species reasonably possible now would include Hooded Warbler and Ovenbird, among warblers soon to be seen. (I also don't know if anyone continues to seek & find any chat in the city, which could still be hanging in where the species was being seen.)

The overall migration did not appear as "dense" (as high in overall numbers at any given point in time or space) as that which took place April 4 (night of April 3 into the 4th) of this spring (from a Manhattan perspective, anyhow) but was a good one with a lot of fresh influx of some species already present or that had been passing through lately. Notable again were many of the sparrow tribe, Chipping Sparrow in particular in a good showing right about "on schedule", and now out-numbering junco, although still not by all that much. I did manage to scare up a single "red" Fox Sparrow & there may have been a few of them still about, while the White-throated Sparrow numbers were again reinvigorated with a freshly-arrived batch, in the thousands but, I thought, less numerous than the 4 April push, which was surprisingly rapid-moving.

...For the most part the day's migrations seemed to be made of rather typical arrivals and with numbers neither especially low nor high. A few species seemed lacking even if seen by some, such as Blue-gray Gnatcatcher which ought to be found in much higher no's any day now... and likely will be. Many of today's arrivals of Yellow-rumped [Myrtle] Warblers were in bright plumage, and that can signal additional migration soon to follow. There was not a tremendous amount of song in the city parks, as the arrivals seemed to be quite intent on feeding, but in some cases the singing was evident and I heard at least a bit of a dawn chorus, in the first hour or less after first light. I'll post a full list on Sunday that may include today's sightings or just Sunday's if there are any new additions which seems quite possible, as will be over much of the next 6+ weeks in our city parks. Thanks to all those who reported sightings and mentioned some by word-of-mouth.

Good birding - hoping for a little rain as it is needed here...

Tom Fiore,